The Other Half

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I think i'm still half-drunk from last night. I'm miserable in the office and told my manager i'm working a half day & leaving at 1pm.

Why?

Because I decided to act like i'm 23 again.

I was out at Strip House with Matt 111105.JPG
last night. I wanted to celebrate my 11th year at work and I figured i'd take out a good friend. Brad was invited, but he is on a weight bet (10 people bet $400 that in 1 month they can lose more weight than each competitor) at work and we are going to celebrate next month.

The steak was excellent, I had a 14oz filet mignon. Juicy, tantalizing and cooked to perfection. I had a Lion's Peak 2000 cabernet, and finished the meal off with two glasses of 10 year old Churchill tawny port. I had a decent buzz at that point.

Matt informs me that Tre and friend Tim are at a bar called One, in the meatpacking district. He suggests that I come out and have fun on a Thursday.

When I first moved to Hoboken, 11 years ago, I would say about every Thursday would be a drink night and I was out until 2am. I could coast through a Friday at work, and my bounce back was fairly good. Those days are long gone.111105b.JPG


We get out to One and it was suit-city. Everyone looked like a Wall Street dude, wearing their post-work suits and i'm in my jeans and sneakers looking like I don't belong. Whatever.

I get to meet Tim again, which was cool, since I don't get to meet many people who work on television. He's a sown to Earth guy, really funny and a blast to hang out with. The four of us drink at One for two hours, and then we decide we want to go to a club and walk across the street to PM.

PM is your typical meatpacking district club. Arrogant bouncers in suits. Velvet ropes and people waiting in line. Tim's celebrity status (if you watch ESPN basketball, you know who he is) and it gives us a slight bonus in the credibility, yet it isn't enough to get us out of waiting in line. We are a bit amused and frustrated that they aren't letting us in right away, just shrugging our shoulders and waiting.

A guy steps out from behind the bouncers with a clip board, showing all the arrogance of someone in Clubland middle management, and shouts to the crowd in line, "Which one of you reserved the table?"

We didn't reserve a table, but Matt, being Matt and not missing a beat, shouts back, "Right here, my man!"

Matt saunters up, like he owns the place and starts talking to the guy, negotiating with him on how many bottles we are buying and at what price. The club guy is trying to get us to buy 3 bottles. Matt states that we are only 4 people and we aren't going to polish off 3 bottles. There is a large line, lots of people waiting and after about a minute of Matt's haggling, the management guy isn't enjoying this. 111105c.JPG


"Stop the fast talk. Do you want in or not?", he says.

"Done.", Matt says.

Now I don't know the math, but I know that each bottle is going to be ridiculously expensive. I'd hazard $200-300 a bottle. At this point of the night, with a heady buzz and in celebration mode, I was prepared to throw down a few bills to cover my cost. Matt won't listen to me and says he will take care of it. Good friend, that one.

Once inside, the club was by most accounts a bridge and tunnel crowd. Don't get me wrong, it was filled with beautiful women and the guido factor was actually at a minimum. The music was ok, the DJ wasn't playing anything popular, just remixing old 80's and 90 songs. After we get inside, Matt negotiates with the waitress to get our three bottles to two, probably saving about $300.

We get our table, which was tiny, our bottles of Grey Goose, champagne, orange and cranberry juice, ice and glasses. Once we got our table, it seemed like women started to just come over and chat. Everyone is friendly. Clubgoers near your table are grooving with their circle and then start to dance with us, too. Some fans recognize Tim and come up to introduce themselves, and are starstruck because they watch him on ESPN and here he is...next to them at their club. It's wild. The music is pumping, lights are flashing. Girls are dancing on tables & couches. There is a camera crew going around taking video of people having fun. I talk to a ton of strangers, get a few email addresses and phone numbers. There is a mirthful joy in the air, everyone is cool with each other and it's nothing like the experience I have had in other clubs growing up.

I remember clubs where there's that overall tension in the air. Like you bump into someone and they are ready to kick your ass with their "boys" backing them up. The girls are standoffish, and people only talk to other people they came into the club with. This is nothing like that. Everyone is just out to have a good time and meet other people.

At the club I realize how this situation just isn't my life, I don't do this. I doubt it really could be. Sure, it is a lot of fun to see how the other half lives. I asked Tim how often he goes out to clubs like this and he says about three times a week, often staying out until the club closes. Of course, he needs to be at ESPN in the afternoon, so he's able to sleep in, then get up and go to work.

The next four hours whipped by in a blur of drinks, dancing and laughter. I had my fill of the club and nearly panicked when I realized it was 3am and I had work the next day. I say my goodbyes and hopped in a cab, and negotiated a ride back to Hoboken, $30 plus tolls. There was no chance i'd make it on the PATH train. I was well ripped, but still a functional drunk. I got back to my apartment and played the "Dude, you aren't going to be sick" game with my brain and stomach:

Breathe. You're fine. Have some water. Sit on the couch. Breathe. Doing good. Shit it's 3:30am! Ok, 4 hours of sleep. I'll just coast as best as I can at work. It's cool. Have some more water.

I don't exactly remember getting from the couch to the bed. My alarm went off at 7:30 and my entire morning routine I was on auto-pilot. It was very existential, like I was watching myself from outside my body. I wasn't even hungover. I quite possibly think I was still drunk. I may be drunk right now as I write this.

I took a Tylenol (which I try not to do because of the liver issues with drinking and taking that) and shuffled to work. Semi-snoozed on the PATH. Grabbed a bagel to soak up whatever Rockstar energy drink and Grey Goose was left in my stomach.

I can see why people love going out in NYC. If you have the money, or if you have the connections - I bet doing that every weekend is a blast. I can see how people must come to Hoboken and be standing in Trinity thinking, "How provincial!"

I'd absolutely do that again. But next time I can't work the next day. I'm dying.

Plus, of course Murphy's Law jump starts at the office. I get into the office, thinking I can coast. I get pulled into a meeting about 10 minutes after I walk in. My co-worker quietly turns to me, while others aren't listening and says, "I can smell the booze reeking from your pores...", and quietly chuckles.

Great. Wonderful. Can 1pm get here any sooner?

In a way, it was totally worth it. Except it just isn't worth it right now.

1 Comment

I LOVE the Strip House--awesome steaks. You guys should have split the seafood app. I took clients there back in April --dropped almost $1100 (and we only had 3 bottles of wine (not priced to crazy). But when it is just 2 it is not that overly expensive (that is one place I love to keep going back to) I don't really like trendy clubs- but it seems like you had fun --until friday morning.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on November 11, 2005 12:40 AM.

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